My Birthday Wish

Dear Friend:

Yesterday I received an email from a friend that made me almost skip down the street (so I just sort of ran and grinned like a maniac instead). Why? Because she said she had new stationary and was going to be sending me another letter. I knew letters made me happy, but this really proved how much snail mail means to me right now. I’m even writing a paper about letters in theater that I’ll be giving at a conference in Austin in October so you think I would have figured it out already. But still, it got me thinking . . .

I’ve got some big transitions coming up in the next month–finishing graduate school, really starting a new job, family changes–and also my birthday.

My birthday hasn’t been a big deal outside of the family for the past few years. The timing at the end of the summer always ended up wonky with my return to Rice or study abroad or my sister moving into her college. My family and I have always found ways to make it a special day, but that’s different this year, too. I’ll still replicate the traditions, but I thought it’d be all up to me to make it special . . .

. . . until now.


I realized that what I really want this year are letters. Sure, a birthday card will be much appreciated–one of my most prized birthday gifts is the card my NYC aunt sent to me for my 8th birthday (also an artist, I wonder if she knew Alice and Wonderland would strike a chord with me)–and gifts, if you can afford them, are also of course nice, but I want your words. Even if you don’t know me. Just seeing the care and time you put into a letter, to write anything and also remember to take it to the post office to send it off will mean so much to me (or hand it off to me in person if you’re lucky enough to live in the same city). I can’t promise I’ll respond to every one in the same way–postage adds up–but I will promise to respond in some form.

So there’s the challenge: send me a letter to arrive around August 18, 2014.

I’m not comfortable giving out my address here, so unfortunately there will have to be the extra step of emailing me for it at But I believe in you.

Best wishes,



About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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